Pandemic puts Roosevelt’s girls behind eight ball

Senior Olivia harder will run the point for the Bears when the 2020-21 season finally begins • File photo by Larry Caruso

Hank Minckiewicz

Roosevelt’s girls varsity coach Jerry Makuch is a legend. But even legend’s need a break.

Makuch took the Roosevelt job at the last minute last year, subbing in for the former coach just before the season began. It left little time for him to get to know his team and the team to get to know him.

No problem. There would be summer camp and fundraisers and team-building activities during the spring summer and fall of 2020 and all that would change.

Well, we all know what happened.

Covid wiped out the off-season and when practice did begin in November, Makuch himself, along with his wife Carol and son Michael, caught COVID-19, which put them on the shelf.

They have all recovered, but the bottom line is, heading into his second season with the Bears, Makuch hasn’t really had the chance to put his considerable imprint on the team.

“I really don’t know what we have,” he admitted. “I have not had a chance to even see some of these girls play, so I am just not sure where we stand.”

In addition, the Bears, like other Michigan teams, don’t know when practice will resume, how much they will be able to practice, when games will start and how many there will be.

About the only known variable is that there will be no scrimmages and regular-season games will not begin until after the first of the year.

What Makuch does know is who will start at point guard and the basketball attributes of individual players.

Running the show for the Bears will be senior Liv Harder, a hard-nosed defender and a solid ball handler.

“She’s going to control the point for us,” Makuch said. “She is a year older, smarter and wiser.”

Here is the coaches’ rundown on the rest of the team:

Senior Alayna Jacobs, guard/forward – She is a crafty player, who we can count on to score.

Senior Hanna Exner, forward – She may be the best shooter on the team. She is another one we can count on to score.

Senior Elle Gonzalez, center – A true post player. She is a real inside threat.

Senior Teagan Beemer – A scrappy player, who will be looking for playing time.

Senior ShanteNae Atwater-Boyd –  She is a defensive specialist. A real bonus player you can throw in against the other team’s best player.

Senior Kate Bezzo – Speed is her game. She is the fastest player on the court.

Junior Cortney Olsen, forward – Cortney is a real tough, hard-nosed player.  She will see plenty of playing time.

Junior Sydney Breton, forward/center – She will look for playing time at forward and center. She is the best hustler on the team. 

Junior Jordyn Guyzik, center –  She will back up Gonzalez, but could be the surprise of the team because of her strength of play.

Junior Grace Maslanka, forward – A workhorse and a real tough rebounder

Junior Kylie Sparks, guard/forward – Kylie can do a lot of things, she is the most versatile player on our team.

Sophomore Paige Olsen, guard – Paige will see a great deal of playing time because of her offense skills.

Junior Maci Murdock, forward – Maci is new to our school and will be fighting for playing time

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